“American Idol” Finalist Nikki McKibbin Dead At 42: Report

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Nikki McKibbin, famous for her time on the first season of American Idol, has passed away. According to The New York Times, McKibbin’s death was verified by her husband Craig Sadler on social media. McKibbin was placed on life support four days ago after suffering from complications due to a brain aneurysm. “She was so loved that I know thousands of you will be grieving with us,” Mr. Sadler wrote on Facebook.

McKibbin participated in American Idol in 2002, and finished third behind Kelly Clarkson, the winner, and Justin Guarini. Her pop-punk look was in direct contrast to her soulful covers, which shocked the nation. “Nikki McKibbin was an incredible talent and we are deeply saddened by the news of her passing,” a spokeswoman for American Idol wrote in a statement. “She was part of our ‘American Idol’ family and will be truly missed. Our hearts and prayers go out to her family and friends during this difficult time.”

Ryan Seacrest, who was the host of American Idol, tweeted, “Nikki was a superstar the moment she walked into auditions – she set the bar high with her talent and memorable stage presence. It was an honor to watch her grow and inspire millions of people. Our hearts go out to her family, friends, and fans who are grieving this tragic loss.”